Mike Elrington played one killer set at The Espy recently. This dude’s big booming voice shooting out some awesome blues was enough to give you goosebumps while watching him work the guitar like an absolute master. He got carried away right into the music and so did everyone watching, feet stamping and heads violently bobbing up and down to the rhythm.
Mike is part of Melbourne band The Advocates (formerly the Mike Elrington Band), a three-piece, Roderick McLeod on skins and Oscar Lopaczuk on bass, who have been creating energetic funk/rock since 2003 and will soon be releasing a new album. What I have heard of the The Advocates is different to the set I saw Mike play. The band make some good old-fashioned rock and roll, and for me are reminicent of Electric Mary, but less metal.
Mike’s set at The Espy had the small crowd absolutely captivated, as much by his guitar skills as his passionate vocals. This dude’s hands seriously have a mind of their own on the strings; it was just amazing to watch. He has a good sense of humour too, thanking the small crowd for coming to watch instead of paying $35 for the event upstairs, before cheekily demanding his $35 before he plays on (and funnily enough, the four different sets played in the Espy’s basement that night outlasted the upstairs event by a good hour).
I just can’t convey enough how powerful his performance was this night. Considering it was just one man and his guitar, Mike’s set absolutely filled the room with his strong bluesy vocals and obvious passion for music. I love watching artists that have that true passion for making good music, it makes the experience of watching them all the more amazing and rewarding, knowing you’ve just witnessed pure, undiluted local talent.
This clip I found on YouTube from the Music in the Mall event as part of the 2012 Bendigo Blues & Roots Music Festival gives you an idea of the set we saw Mike play at The Espy. The quality isn’t fantastic, but it shows off his guitar skills excellently.
Mike will be playing The Espy in St Kilda the second Tuesday in June. Keep updated with Mike and the band on their website http://theadvocates.com.au/ or Facebook page http://theadvocates.com.au/ for upcoming gigs.